Sustainability and Transparency Key to Trust

Sustainability and Transparency Key to Trust

Consumer education and getting started with sustainability initiatives is crucial for building consumer trust, according to a September 25th session at The Packer’s Sustainable Produce Summit | #September 25th session at The Packer’s Sustainable Produce Summit | examining consumer trust regrading industry efforts for sustainability.
The panel was moderated by Ashley Nickle, editor of PMG and retail editor of The Packer. The panel included Lori Taylor, founder and CEO of The Produce Moms, Kevin Byers, senior produce merchandiser for PCC Community Markets, Brent Kawamura, senior sustainability specialist for PCC and Scott Caine, senior vice president and chief operating officer of Aimpoint Research.
According to Caine, a survey of more than 600 consumers showed that 9 out of 10 are pursuing a sustainable lifestyle. About 1 in 3 support sustainability by supporting an association or environmental group. Consumers with a greater level of engagement with sustainability issues visit retailer or brand websites to research sustainability commitments.
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Knowledge a Potential Barrier
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Lack of knowledge is a key barrier for some consumers, who say that they do not know enough to say whether they can trust the food industry. However, this is an opportunity “for us to build trust across the board, and in many cases, that trust comes from transparency.”
Taylor noted that consumers would most likely appreciate a definition or standard with regard to sustainability | Learn more on Commonshare |, though she noted that the fresh produce industry is communicating sustainability through innovative packaging efforts and other initiatives.
Taylor also explained that misunderstanding still dogs this field: Does it simply mean environmental stewardship? Does it mean getting away from plastics? What does it mean in terms of agricultural practices?”
A universal sustainability standard | Learn more on Commonshare | would go a long way toward resolving these issues, much like the organics certification | Learn more on Commonshare | standard administered by the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
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Consumers Want to Reduce Packaging Waste
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Kawamura said that PCC shoppers are engaged and involved with social environmental responsibility and sustainability initiatives, particularly with regard to sustainable packaging and climate change. Consumers care about reducing their carbon footprint.
“There has been a lot of talk about (reducing) single-use plastics, and I think we have a groundswell there,” he said.
Changes in packaging | Learn more on Commonshare | also mean that consumers have to be educated about how to dispose or recycle the packaging. As Kawamura explained, sustainability is an evolving concept, but it is important for produce operators to get started.
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September 25th session at The Packer’s Sustainable Produce Summit | https://www.thepacker.com/article/sustainability-transparency-key-trust-panel-says |: source from thepacker website

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